MSC: OUT with Worrall Thompson, IN with Paul Rankin

  1. MSC: OUT with Worrall Thompson, IN with Paul Rankin

    Official Press Release


    It is with regret that MSC Cruises announces that Antony Worrall Thompson will no longer be performing a series of culinary demonstrations on board MSC Splendida next month.

    The company is however delighted to inform its guests that Michelin award winning chef Paul Rankin will be joining MSC Splendida in Barcelona on Sunday 5th February 2012. A series of appearances at sea on Monday 6th February will then see him showcase some of his best loved dishes – and a selection unique to MSC.

    One of the UK’s most popular chefs, Paul Rankin won Northern Ireland’s first Michelin Star, whilst his trailblazing Cayenne in Belfast is among the country’s top restaurants. A regular on TV shows such as Ready Steady Cook and Ten Mile Menu and the writer of numerous best-selling books, Paul is also a passionate supporter of local produce, so much so that in 2002 he launched The Rankin Selection, a range of traditional foods now stocked in supermarkets throughout the UK.

    Paul will be joining MSC Splendida on her 8 day, 7 night cruise departing 4th February 2012 (Genoa, Barcelona, Valletta, La Goulette (Tunisia), Civitavecchia (Rome), Marseille, Genoa).

Royal and Carnival Launch Campaigns

Royal and Carnival Launch Campaigns

Both cruise lines plan for expansion in 2012

January 9, 2012

Carnival Cruise Lines is targeting the value of cruising in 2012.  // © 2012 Carnival Cruise Lines

At the end of the year, two of the biggest players in cruising announced new initiatives based on the attraction of the sea, although they are focused very differently. Royal Caribbean International (RCI) is launching a new brand campaign centered on the relaxation, romance and adventure of the open waters, and Carnival Cruise Lines has opened a new advertising campaign that promotes the quality and value of Fun Ship cruises in comparison with traditional land-based vacations. Both campaigns began in December and will build throughout 2012.

RCI’s new message uses the imagery of a telephone/conch shell — dubbed the “shellphone” — with the tagline “The Sea is Calling. Answer it Royally.” The campaign is capitalizing on universal responses to the sea discovered through focus groups and quantitative research conducted in 16 countries around the world, stressing associations with getting away from the cares and responsibilities of land and taking to the open sea.

“We are tapping into the sea’s powerful, emotional force to reframe the context of cruising for consumers who don’t understand what a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation offers,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president, marketing for RCI. “‘The Sea is Calling’ is a global-scale campaign that will resonate with people no matter where they live, what language they speak, or whether or not they have cruised before. And we want vacationers everywhere to know that Royal Caribbean’s distinctive and innovative ships, personal service and breadth of destination experiences is how we ‘Answer it Royally.’”

Created by RCI’s lead advertising agency, JWT New York, in partnership with media agency Mindshare, the campaign is deploying globally throughout the new year after its official January launch. The Shellphone began appearing on Dec. 19 in major cities, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston and Miami.

Television commercials featuring everyday people interacting with the Shellphone (in 30-second and 60-second versions) began on Jan. 9, and consumers are invited to actively participate by indicating where in the world they would like to cruise and entering a sweepstakes at

Carnival’s multichannel campaign launched on Dec. 26, and blends national and regional executions across television, out-of-home (billboards) and online media. The central theme of the campaign reinforces the notion that everyone deserves a fun, memorable vacation at a great price and that Carnival delivers on this promise with a unique onboard experience at an exceptional value. The Land vs. Sea campaign has a light touch, pitting the carefree fun of a Carnival cruise against the most common land-based vacations such as visiting relatives, camping and going to an amusement park.

“The value of a Carnival cruise is clearest when juxtaposed against a land-based vacation and to get our message out in a big way, we used humor and identifiable moments to reach out to the 80 percent of the population who has never taken a cruise,” said Jim Berra, Carnival’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “We believe that everyone has the right to an exceptional vacation at a great value, and this campaign will remind Americans that they don’t need to compromise, or break their budgets, in their pursuit of fun,” he added.

Research shows that many Americans are curbing expenses by taking vacations that are within driving distance. With a wide choice of close-to-home ports and a variety of short and long cruises that fit any budget, Carnival has an answer that allows consumers to minimize distance to the vacation and travel to new places at the same time.

One of the line’s priorities is reaching cruise rookies. For example, a 3-D billboard in Times Square will portray the beauty of a Carnival cruise ship on the Caribbean juxtaposed against the bustle of the city, with the phrase “Cruising From New York.” Other customized out-of-home elements will be featured in subway cars, atop taxis, on elevators and in prospecting displays.

Like RCI’s message, Carnival’s will unfold during 2012 in a variety of forms and venues.

Viking orders two luxury ships for new ocean-cruise brand

Viking orders two luxury ships for new ocean-cruise brand

By Jerry Limone and Michelle Baran
 Shipbuilder STX France said Wednesday that the company has received an order to build two oceangoing cruise ships for a new Viking brand, Viking Ocean Cruises.

There is an option for a third ship, STX indicated.

The 888-passenger luxury ships, to be delivered in spring 2014 and spring 2015, will primarily sail the Mediterranean, STX said. The ships will have 444 cabins and 444 crew members, according to STX.

STX said Viking intends to market the ocean cruises to Viking’s river-cruise customers in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

Based on the success of river cruising, Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen “felt it was right to offer more of a destination-oriented ocean experience,” said Richard Marnell, Viking’s senior vice president of marketing. “Mr. Hagen feels the ocean vessels built of late have become too large and that they’re losing out on the destination.”

Marnell noted that Viking’s entry into ocean cruising will not affect the planned expansion of its river-cruise business.

“We know that there’s a demand for such a destination-oriented product because our passengers are certainly seeking that out on a smaller-ship experience in river cruise,” said Marnell.

At this time, Marnell said the company is not releasing product and itinerary details, or the price Viking is paying for the ships.

Viking River Cruises operates a fleet of 23 river ships and has eight under construction.